HENRY MCCLURE is one of the prosperous colored men of Springfield, who by his industry has accumulated considerable real estate and other property. He was born in slavery in Dade County, Mo., in 1845, and his father and mother belonged to Alexander Long. In 1858 he was sold to Frank McClure, of Dade County, and remained with him until he was seized as a contraband by the Federals. He early learned to work, and while with Mr. Long began to learn the carpenter trade. Mr. McClure treated him with great kindness, and while with him he hardly felt the bonds of slavery. Mr. McClure paid $1,465 for our subject, and not having so much money on hand, went South for it. On his return he gave the money to Henry to pay the amount, thus showing his trust in him. Henry McClure's father was a handy man, and could make brooms, baskets, barrels and chair bottoms, and was a rough carpenter. In watching his father our subject had picked up a good deal of knowledge of these things, and he had earned and saved $35, which he loaned to one of Mr. Long's sons, receiving in payment a pony, which he sold for $50, Mr. McClure allowing him to keep the money. The latter encouraged him to trade from that time on, and he always had money on hand, and never less than $50. When the tocsin of war sounded Mr. McClure went South, and left Henry in charge of the family and farm, and he remained with them until ordered by the Federalists to Springfield. He was enrolled as a teamster, and served from January, 1862, until the close of the war. He drove a six mule team, and for the most part was engaged in hauling provisions from Raleigh to Springfield, and on to Arkansas. He received good wages, and saved his money. After the war he ran on a steamboat on the Missouri River, but later bought a team and returned to Springfield, a distance of 250 miles. Following this he worked for Col. Henry Shephard and Maj. Charles Shephard, of Springfield, for fourteen years, and still does work for the family. The Shephard family assisted him by loaning him money, and he bought property. He has been engaged in the carpenter business and contracting, and has met with unusual success, being now the owner of valuable real estate in Springfield. On June 22, 1881, he was married to Miss Emma L. Schultz, and they are the parents of two children, Henry F. and Maggie J. Mrs. McClure is a member of the Presbyterian Church. In politics Mr. McClure is a Republican. He has always been a hard working man, and by industry and thrift has accumulated a fair share of this world's goods. He was born a slave, received no schooling, but in spite of all drawbacks he accumulated a comfortable fortune, and deserves much credit for his enterprise and industry. Mrs. McClure received a fair education, and is an intelligent lady, almost white. She can do business for her husband.
Springfield-Greene County Library